Seeking Help from Mr. Baldwin

Billy portraitI have decided that slipper chairs are the answer to the seating situation in my living room. Simple, clean-lined, and comfortable; they are the perfect partner to my John Derian Geranium Sofa seen here. However, I am struggling with the perfect scale and measurements of the chairs. The room is small, so they need to be small, but not diminutive. I don’t want them to look dinky, but I don’t want them to overpower the room. So in this moment of uncertainty I am looking to Billy Baldwin, great American decorator, slipper chair pioneer.

Billy Slipper 2 Billy Slipper 1 Billy 2Originally developed as a vanity chair for women in the 19th century, Baldwin championed its use in the living room, claiming that “Small women and football linebackers find it equally comfortable.” The chair has the wonderful ability to look both comfortable and formal, tailored and casual. Skirt or no skirt, pleated or not, there are many ways to design a chair such as this one, but Baldwin always did it best.

billy billy billy gardenIn addition to giving us the slipper chair, Mr. Baldwin designed some of the most famous and photographed interiors, such as Diana Vreeland’s famous living room. Apparently, Ms. Vreeland simply told Mr. Baldwin that she wanted the room to look like a “garden in hell,” and this is what he came up with.

Layout 1So while I continue to perfect my slipper chair measurements, I have just received Billy Baldwin The Great American Decorator in the mail, and I plan on studying it intensely. So look out for a few more Baldwin inspired posts, and I will keep you posted on the perfection of my slipper chair measurements.

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